Monday, January 28, 2013

Lessons from Tias...

It amazes me how much children teach us. This morning I was asked to watch the kids (I now live with the same family who cared for me while I had dengue). It was only for a few minutes before I was relieved by a woman from the church that comes to help out in the house two times a week. I snuggled with the two children on the couch while we watched some cartoon. The girl is four and the boy is two. They are close to the ages of my nephews back home but very different in personality. The little boy is quite the snuggler, which I soak up as my youngest nephew arches his back and runs away screaming for his “Nana” any time I try to hold him. Snuggling was cut short as my relief came shortly after we had settled on the couch. My mind quickly went to how I could best be productive in the office today beginning with getting dressed in a fresh pair of comfy clothes. 
When I emerged to the sitting room where the kids were the youngest little boy was crying because he had hit his head. I was just getting ready to walk out the door with all confidence that this was nothing the helper hadn’t seen or dealt with before, but what happened next pulled me out of my focus for the day. The little boy came to me, hugged me, and said, “hold me?” He weakened my already weak heart and I picked him up and just sat for a bit longer thinking, “Work can wait, this is just too precious.”

I sat a bit longer with the kids, until the cartoon was done. They got a few books and we started to look at them. The older sister took one of the books the younger brother was looking at and he then became distraught. I could tell he wasn’t going to give it up so I asked (for my own sanity) if the older sister could give the book back. Trying to console a two year old and battle an all knowing four year old, I looked down and noticed that in his distress, the youngest was throwing up his breakfast over himself, myself and finally down onto the couch. Covered in throw-up, I tried to rush him to the bathroom, attempting to be extra careful not to get extra throw up on me. 

When the adrenaline and concern for my fresh new pair of comfy clothes wore off, I noticed that the little boy was crying and saying “a bath? a bath? clean? a bath?” I picked him up and held him, and he held even tighter onto me. I wanted to cry with him and I asked him; “Is that what you want? You want a bath?” How quick I was to get this filthy child away from me while he was covered in sick, yet all he wanted was someone to hold him. Before that I was quick to forget my work before me to snuggle with a sweet little two year old. Before that I was quick to walk away from the same child to set my mind on “higher things.” It made me realize how much all of God’s children are like this little boy. At what point do we lay aside what is ultimately unimportant to tend to the needs of God’s people. 

It is easy to care for others when it is convenient, but what do we do when sickness looks like it could rub off, or get on us too? Christ unabashedly entered into our infirmities, and swam in a world full of sickness so that we could bathe in his righteousness and put on a clean white robe in holy baptism. Christ was not afraid of getting sick on himself for us. He took all our infirmities upon himself. Tias showed me a glimpse of what the Savior’s love looks like out poured on his people. It looks a lot like what Christ did for us; working on the sabbath, becoming unclean, uncomfortable, and unconcerned for those things that pale in comparison to the wellbeing and love of a child. A communication I am sure a mother displays better than I did this morning. I wish I had been less concerned for my clothes and the sweet smell of perfume in my nose. It was however when that sweet little child flung his arms around me and rested his head upon my shoulder with tears in his eyes that I wore his sick on my clothes like a badge of honor, as if to say “Look what sick I was able to catch” I wanted to show off the sick like it meant something, but wearing it doesn’t make it go away. I needed to wash it. Ironically that is something his mother is now doing for me. In the end, we can’t be the ones to take the sickness, but we can be unafraid of it knowing where to go to become clean. We may not be able to heal, but we can always point to the healer; Christ.

Isaiah 53:3-5
New King James Version (NKJV)
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.